How Many Oz Should My 5 Month Old Be Drinking Ten Tips to Change Your Drinking Habits

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Ten Tips to Change Your Drinking Habits

If you want to change your drinking habits, AA and total abstinence aren’t your only options. Research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that the majority of people who change their drinking habits do so without AA or rehab. Many decide that stopping completely is their best option, but just as many, if not more, solve their problems by cutting back or becoming safer drinkers.

1) Safety first

If you’ve been involved in any risky behaviors while drinking, such as drunk driving, unsafe sex, drunk calling, or anything else, there’s a way to help you avoid it in the future. Get a sheet of paper and make a list of the risky behaviors you’ve done and put them in a hierarchy – remember it’s very important to avoid the most risky behaviors first. Then, make a written plan to avoid high-risk behaviors before you take that first drink. For example, if you want to drink at a bar, take a taxi there so you have to take a taxi home. You can’t drive if your car isn’t there. Remember: think before you drink. It’s always a good idea to put safety first. The life you save could be your own.

2) Decide what kind of drinker you want to be

Many people find that completely stopping alcohol is their best option. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you drink, anyone can choose to completely abstain from alcohol. Others find that moderate drinking is their best goal and will choose to aim to drink moderately and never get drunk. Even those people who are unwilling or unable to abstain from drinking to the point of intoxication from time to time can work to become safer drinkers by planning ahead. Safer drinking can be an important harm reduction goal for these people, as any plan to make it safer is always an improvement over unsafe drinking. Safer drinking, reduced drinking or abstinence are all legitimate harm reduction goals and are all better than making no change at all. Also remember that your goal is not set in stone—many people who choose safer drinking or reduced drinking goals later decide that transitioning to abstinence is their best bet. Life changes and it’s good to be flexible and change with it.

3) Add a few days without drinking alcohol

Many people find that having several alcohol-free days each week helps them keep their habit under control. If you’ve been a daily drinker for a long time, you may find that adding even one alcohol-free day each week can help you start your plan to change. Feel free to go at your own pace by adding alcohol-free days to your week. Warning: If you drink heavily every day for a long time, you may experience alcohol withdrawal if you stop immediately. If you start having withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking, then it’s safer to either taper off slowly, check into detox, or get some medication from your doctor to help with alcohol withdrawal.

4) Measure and record how much you drink

One of the best ways to control your drinking is to count your drinks and keep a daily record in a diary or some other type of drink chart. To keep an accurate record of how much you drink, you’ll need to know what a typical drink is. In the US, this is a twelve-ounce beer at five percent alcohol, or a five-ounce glass of wine at twelve percent alcohol, or one and a half ounces of 80-ounce liquor. A drink at a bar can contain up to half a dozen standard drinks, so keep that in mind when listing your drinks. Practice measuring at home to get a feel for what a typical drink really is. Record your drink numbers in your diary each day. if you have an abstinence day then enter a zero. Many people find that the act of mapping alone helps them reduce.

5) Make a drinking plan

You can use the same diary where you record your drink numbers to plan how many drinks you will have in a given day. For example, you might want to book every Sunday to do your drinking for the week ahead and note which days will be alcohol-free and how many drinks you plan to have on the days you do. Some people may want to have the same schedule every week and will choose to write it only once. For example, a person may choose to drink safely at home every Saturday night and abstain the other six days of the week. There are as many different possible drinking plans as there are people, so feel free to make the plan that’s right for you.

6) Make a list of pros and cons

Take out four sheets of paper. In the first write the advantages of your current drinking habits and in the second write the disadvantages. In the third write the advantages of the change you want and in the fourth the disadvantages. Don’t be afraid to say there is positive evidence for alcohol. If you try to suppress the positives, they will just stay in your subconscious and cause you problems later. If you show it openly now, you can recognize it and you can find other positive things to replace the benefits you get from alcohol. Feel free to list your pros and cons often — each time you write them down, it will strengthen your resolve to change.

7) Take a break from drinking

Some people find that the best way to initiate a change in their drinking habits is to have a period when they don’t drink. Taking a week or two or even a month or two off from drinking can go a long way in changing your relationship with alcohol for the better. A year without alcohol will give you a chance to deal with all your old drinking situations without alcohol — and you’ll learn new ways to deal with those situations without drinking.

8) Make a list of ways to have fun without drinking

There are endless ways to have fun without alcohol, from swimming to knitting to the New York Times crossword puzzle. Get out a sheet of paper and make a list of fun things you can do without alcohol and keep it handy to refer to when you feel like breaking your drinking schedule.

9) Emphasize the positive

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to your plan perfectly. Research shows that most people don’t get it perfect the first time. Making a change usually takes several attempts and there are some bumps in the road to achieving your change goal. If you hit yourself with a small slip, you might make yourself so miserable that you want to drown your sorrows in booze, and you might end up going into a big bender as a result. People who succeed in the long run are the ones who praise themselves for every positive change. If you decide to take a month off from drinking and do it for ten days, be sure to praise yourself for those ten days of abstinence from alcohol – you will never miss them. Don’t waste too much time beating yourself up for not doing the full thirty days, get back on the plan, either decide to complete the remaining twenty days, go for thirty days in a row, or move on to a whole new plan.

10) Have a “Plan B” in place

Slip ups are the norm when people try to change their habits. only a minority make the switch completely the first time. But having a piece of chocolate cake doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole cake. One drink does not mean that someone is drunk. If you plan to abstain, but slip up and decide to have a drink, make sure you do it safely. if you are out with your car then take your car home first and get a taxi to the bar. Implement your plan B so you can continue to stay safe even if you slip. A backup plan is essential whether your goal is to drink more safely, reduce your drinking, or quit altogether.

Always remember that the best is the best. Any improvement you make over your old drinking habits, no matter how small, is a success!

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